Improve Your Shotgun Fit By Raising The Comb

Azduane recently wrote: Phil--I noticed some comments about having a fitted gun so I was curious if you have ever had a gun to test that you felt would be better if it was tweaked a little to fit you better. Another reason I ask is when I've watched Gun Nuts on TV, it seems you do well with all the guns you try/shoot. I've had a couple of shotguns that I had to tweak, generally raising the comb, in order to get them to shoot where I wanted them to. Just curious.

Azduane--First of all, don’t believe everything you see on TV. I do practice my gunmounts a lot, which helps me adapt to different guns, and I have a thin face that means I can do okay with most stocks regardless of cast or thickness of comb.* A gun that gave me a hard time on the TV show was the Caesar Guerini Evo Light, a wonderful gun that just didn’t happen to fit me very well. I would have liked to tweak it, but I doubt the Guerini people would have been very happy with me if I had attacked the comb of their gun with a wood rasp, so I left it alone.

As for how to tweak gunstocks, and specifically how to raise the comb, a useful aid I have been fooling around with lately is Beartooth products' Comb Raising Kit. It comes with a neoprene sleeve that fits over the stock and five foam inserts ranging from 1/8- to 5/8-inch which can be used individually or in combination to raise the comb of a long gun.

The Comb Raising Kit allows you to easily try different dimensions to see what suits you best without permanently altering your stock and you can switch it from gun to gun with ease. It’s especially effective if you want to raise the comb of a field gun for target shooting.

The 1/8 and ¼-inch inserts work better than the thicker ones because they are thin enough to contour to the curve of the comb. The thicker inserts have a square-edged feel that I don’t like as much. However, a ¼ inch is a huge change upward, so you may not have to use the thicker inserts anyway if you’re trying to elevate the comb enough for target shooting. The best part is, the kit costs just $22.95.

*One of the secrets to the 870/1100’s success, I believe, is the thin comb that allows faces of all shapes to get down on the stocks and center their eye over the rib.